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Jul 12, 2001 12:45 PM

The finest book on Burgundy?

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There are many books in English on the great wine region. I would like to give a friend the best of the lot. What is your recommendation?

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  1. Clive Coates'. Disclaimer: he is a friend. But his really is the book to get.'s a serious work, not a coffee table book by any means.


    5 Replies
    1. re: Jim Leff


      Coates' book is a good one too. But if I had to have just one I would take Norman's - it has less of a focus on tasting notes of particular wines. Also, I didn't mean to imply that it was a non-serious, coffee table book - it just looks like one.

      Joe Moryl

      1. re: Joe Moryl

        They're both very good books on the subject. But I'm with you, Joe, Norman's book packs in more information about current trends. I carried it with me when I visited Burgundy last year. The photos turned out to be useful as I could recognize the various producers' faces when I'd see them in their environs if they weren't wearing name tags. (g)

        The third book on Burgundy that I'd recommend is Matt Kramer's Making Sense of Burgundy. I think it's out of print, but it's a very worthwhile read if you can find a used copy. He's particularly good at explaining the concept of "terroir" and site specificity which drives Burgundy to an American audience that grew up in a different type of wine culture.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I really like the Matt Kramer book. It was a great read and very evocative. He really put across a love for the subject.

          1. re: jen kalb

            Yes, the passion! He really conveys the feelings of those of us in love with the heartbreak grape.

          2. re: Melanie Wong


            Sorry, must disagree on Matt Kramer - he makes my skin crawl. His obsession with terroir borders on the trainspotteristic. I don't deny that terroir is important but the French exaggerate a lot when it comes to this subject and Kramer seems to regurgitate it all undigested. For other books on Burgundy I would turn to Anthony Hanson; like Kramer this book is also somewhat out of date. Pity I can't afford much Burgundy these days......

            Joe Moryl

      2. As a Burgundy lover I would vote for Remmington Norman's "The Great Domaines of Burgundy", Henry Holt, 2nd. ed.
        Despite its pompous title and coffee table decoration format, it is chock full of details on many of the best estates in Burgundy. Stuff of real interest to wine geeks like viticultural and wine making philosophies. Nice maps and photos too.

        Joe Moryl